The Pura Belpré Award is presented to a Latino writer and to a Latino illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children. The award, announced annually at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards presentation, is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA, and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA Affiliate. READ MORE
When the Muskingum County Library System’s state funding was cut from about 95 percent of its budget to 55 percent, it could have become an antiquated relic of years past. Listening to the needs of its patrons, however, has turned the page on the future of the library, ensuring its future as a vital community service.For Assistant Director Blair Tom, the cuts simply forced the library to re-evaluate its priorities and determine what it could do as a business to be more attractive to its customers.“It gave us the opportunity and the necessity to rethink our business model, to look at efficiencies and effectiveness,” he said. READ MORE
Library supporters packed Shaler Area School Board's meeting to speak out against a recent reorganizations of the district's school librarians and library aides.More than 50 people overflowed from the board's conference room earlier this month into a reception area outside, and about 10 of them spoke during the meeting.“I know that all of you care about education, but we can't have a strong school district without information and media centers that are staffed by devoted, caring, enthusiastic information professionals,” said Ingrid Kalchthaler, a 1989 Shaler Area graduate and librarian at Shaler North Hills Library. “All that means is school libraries matter, and school librarians matter even more.” READ MORE
The Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, Mich., was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of children's book author and storyteller Verna Aardema Vugteveen (1911-2000). Vugteveen (1911-2000) was an award-winning children’s author who based her stories on traditional folk tales from Africa, Latin America and other countries. Hackley Public Library and its librarians provided the setting and support for her research. Vugteveen is the author of Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1976, as well as more than 30 children’s books and collections of stories. Among the awards she received were the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Award in 1977 and the Parents’ Choice Award for Literature in 1984. Her books have been published in a number of languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese and Afrikaans. Vugteveen is known as “Muskegon’s Story Lady.” Vugteveen’s book Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is dedicated to “my librarian, Bernice Houseward.” “I owe a lot to the librarians at Hackley,” wrote Vugteveen. “They obtained most of my source stories through interlibrary loan. All of the tales in my first book, ‘Tales from the Story Hat,’ came right from the books at Hackley Library.” READ MORE
The recent suicide of Florida 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick once again draws national attention to the tragic consequences of bullying, and communities across the country are struggling to find a solution.   READ MORE
On Monday, Jan. 19, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That day, our nation reflects on his life and legacy.Dr. King’s life and work will also be commemorated two weeks later during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, when the ALA honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens during its Youth Media Awards (YMA) ceremony on Monday, Feb. 2.Sponsored by the ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), the Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.  The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. King and honors Mrs. King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. READ MORE
Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) honors the best of the best in children’s and young literature. The Youth Media Awards, which are awarded during the association’s Midwinter Meeting, are eagerly anticipated by librarians, publishers and the authors and illustrators themselves.Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the awards serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and those interested in providing youth with the very best reading and viewing materials.The most prominent are the Newbery and Caldecott medals. But collectively, the awards not only speak to the quality of the books, but also reflect the diversity of children’s and young adult literature.Beginning in 2011, the Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's & Young Adult Literature Award joined the YMA pantheon. READ MORE
Promoting literacy for incarcerated teens is a challenge. Encouraging reluctant readers to read is only one of many obstacles. Ask Karlan Sick, the current chair of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens  (LIT), a nonprofit library services organization that supports school libraries at the New York City school programs for incarcerated youth. READ MORE
Seeking books about children who were blind or had other disabilities, a 9-year-old girl began borrowing books in braille from the National Library Service for the Blind.The girl, Katherine Schneider, went on to become the first blind student to graduate from the public school system in Kalamazoo, Michigan.A valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar, Schneider went on to obtain her doctorate from Purdue University and become a clinical psychologist and a university professor, teaching psychology courses at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, as well as counseling, supervising and administering counseling services there. READ MORE
There are a total of 165,986 certified librarians in the United States, but only a relative handful can claim membership in an elite group – a group neither defined by birth nor monetary distinction.What they have in common is the fact that they are loved.This week, 10 librarians representing the spectrum of library service – public, school, academic and special, received the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award for outstanding public service to the community and ongoing commitment to changing lives through education. READ MORE